tv Legacies of Supreme Court Landmark Cases CSPAN October 14, 2017 12:25pm-1:25pm EDT
next, participants and landmark supreme court cases talk about the legacies of those historic decisions. about cora mats include u-verses united states. brown versus department of education and tinker versus des moines during the vietnam war. the national constitution center in philadelphia hosted this hour-long event. >> my name is vince stango. here the national constitution center and i am so , delighted to welcome you to this special event. a panel discussion on some of the supreme court's most significant landmark cases. when the stories of we the people become cases before the united states supreme court and when these cases result in the opinions of the court, history turns. the ways in which we think about and live under the constitution are reflected in the court's interpretations in both their historical context and their legacies.
some cases, and the court's opinions in them so profoundly , alter our constitutional understandings that they can only be rightly called landmark cases, markers of where we have traveled as a nation. as a part of an initiative begun in 2015, the national constitution center partnered with c-span to create a 12-part series illustrating the history, issues, and people involved in monumental landmark cases. through the resulting online videos and other classroom resources available at landmarkcases.cspan.org, students and educators can carefully analyze some famous and infamous cases. last year, we continued this initiative through a series of town hall discussions. in-depth articles on our constitution daily blog and the publication of our 2017 popular civic calendar, which featured
12 beautifully designed mini posters highlighting 15 landmark cases. today's event is the culmination of this initiative and we are thrilled that our three panelists have joined us to celebrate constitution day and to talk to you more about these historic cases. without further adieu, please join me in welcoming today's panel. karen koramatsu is the direct or of the institution of her father. oliver brown was the lead petitioner in the case brown v board of education of topeka. john tinker along with his sister mary beth was a co-petitioner of tinker v des moines independent community school district. in recent years john and mary , beth have traveled the country on the tinker tour bus telling students their story. joining our panelist is the director of education, mike adams, who will moderate today's discussion. let's give our panelists and moderator a warm round of
applause. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the national constitution center on constitution day, the best day of the year to be here. joining me on stage as vince stengel are people closely related to three landmark supreme court cases that all took place in the 20th century, so not that long ago. in today's program what we'll do , is i'll introduce each of our panelists. they'll tell you a little bit of the background of the supreme court case in which their father or in john's case themselves were involved in the case. they'll talk about what the court ruled, how it impacted our lives, and why those cases are still relevant today. our first speaker to my left is
karen koramatsu. she's the founder and director of the fred t.koramatsu institute. she's the daughter in the case of koramatsu v united states. karen has carried on fred's legacy as a civil rights advocate, public speaker and , public educator. she carries on at teacher conferences and organizations across the country. one of her most significant accomplishments was working to successfully establish in 2011 a perpetual fred koramatsu civil liberties day on january 30th. fred is the first asian-american in u.s. history to have been honored with a statewide day. please welcome karen koramatsu. [applause] >> so if you would like to begin
by kind of giving us some of the background of the case or tell us a little bit the most important things you think our audience should know about the case, koramatsu v united states. karen: thank you. it's a pleasure to be with you all today on constitution day. it's very exciting to talk to the next generation about the importance of our constitution. my father, as was said, had the landmark supreme court case of koramatsu v united states. as a result of the world war ii japanese-american incarceration. so after the bombing of pearl harbor on december 7th, 1941, president roosevelt issued executive order 9066 on february 19, 1942. that gave the authority to the military to forcibly remove anyone of japanese ancestry from the west coast and send them to
american concentration camps across this country. 120,000 people were incarcerated. two thirds were american citizens. 1/3 were under the age of 18 and could be students like you. my father thought this was -- was wrong because all due process of law was denied. no one had been charged with a crime. no one had access to an attorney. no one had their day in court, and so my father thought why should he have to go to a prison camp when he had done nothing wrong. so he avoided the military orders, you know, just decided that it was wrong and eventually a month later after everyone had been sent off to the detention assembly centers along the west coast, he was arrested.
and the director at that time of the northern california affiliate of the american sifl -- civil liberties union visited my father in jail and said, you know, would my father be willing to take his case if need be all the way to the supreme court and my father said yes because he believed in this country and he believed in the constitution. and so it took a couple of years through appeals. if you know about the judicial system, you know you have to -- you have to kind of lose at one level in order to go up. so eventually, you know, through the system, his case ended up in the supreme court. it took almost two years. on december 18, 1944, the supreme court decision was issued, but it was not unanimous. it was a 6-3 decision. so there were, you know, six
justices that agreed that the military orders were constitutional and three did not , and the three dissenting opinions are the most recognized in the city today. and really the most relevant. so justice jackson referred to my father's supreme court case as this lies around like a loaded weapon ready for anyone to pick up and use with a probable cause. and actually after 9/11 in 2001 , my father's case was cited as a possible reason to round up arab and muslim americans and put them in american concentration camps. justice murphy called it the ugly abyss of racism. justice owen roberts said, this is unconstitutional. so clearly the court was not, you know, completely in agreement. and -- but my -- my father, even though he was totally
disappointed, never gave up hope that some day his case could be re-opened. it took almost 40 years for that to happen. and after the freedom of information act you could go to archives in washington, d.c., and do the research in the files of the government and they found what was called the smoking gun, meaning they found the document that proved there was no military necessity at the time of my father's arrest and when the japanese-americans were incarcerated. there was never any evidence of any spying or espionage from the japanese-americans. and actually at the time of my father's supreme court hearing in 1944, the department of justice had withheld evidence, had destroyed evidence and had altered evidence. so on that basis there's a little unknown judicial -- or
law term called corum novis. that means an error has been made before us. an error has been made before the court. and so on that basis they were , able to reopen my father's supreme court case, and it was proven that there was government misconduct at the time. and his federal conviction was overruled or vacated. and that means he no longer had a federal prison record, but his case is still on the supreme court record. when you win at a federal court level, there was no basis to go up. you couldn't go up to the -- to, let's say, a court of appeals or back up to the supreme court. so it would take another precedent in order for it to be cited, but it's been discredited but it still has been referred to, even to this day. so when the immigration was
banned, my father's case has been noted in reference to creating this possible muslim registry that we have heard about. so my father never gave up hope that some day he could reopen up his supreme court case. 40 years is a long time to never give up hope. but i didn't even find out about my father's supreme court case until i was in high school. so i was 16 years old. no one had talked about my father's case, and my friend was giving a book report about the japanese-american incarceration and my father's case and she cited koramatu verses the united states. i kind of flinched and thought, oh, that's my name. and i had 35 pairs of eyes turning around looking at me. i'm shrugging my shoulders because she didn't say fred
koramatsu. she only said koramatu verses the united states. then i found out that was indeed my father. he was waiting until i got older to understand what happened at that time. also the whole japanese-american community never spoke about it because they had been arrested. they had been put in prison. they carried the shame around them like they had done something wrong all those years. so it took my father's case to be re-opened to lift that shame and to regain their dignity. [applause] we do have time for one or two questions. does anyone have any questions for karen about the legacy of her father? we will be down with a microphone.
karen: stand up. there you go. >> when you find out about your fathers case, did you cry or did you feel emotional about it? karen: that's a very good question. i didn't cry. i didn't really know or understand what it meant to have a federal prison record. i never -- you know, it's not like today you see all these shows on television about, you know, people getting arrested and crimes and all of that. it was a long time ago. and -- but i didn't -- i just didn't know how to really digest the information. and so i just kept it to myself. my friends, my classmates the next day asked me was that about my father? i just said, yes. i just kind of shrugged it off. and so i really didn't start
understanding about the impact of my father's case until he -- until the case was re-opened in 1983, and at that time i was 33 years old so it -- because i had a lot of -- i had a lot of prejudice and racism that was against me growing up so when i -- growing up. so when i was in elementary school and the teacher was talking about the bombing of pearl harbor and they would show the bombing of pearl harbor -- how many people have seen the bombing of pearl harbor picture? so the teacher would throw that up on the board, but she wouldn't say how you treat people that have been really targeted that live in this country? how would you feel? there was never that kind of discussion. so the kids said it was my fault for the bombing of pearl harbor. they would call me racist names. it got to the point where i couldn't even ride the school bus. so i felt a bit, you know, kind of ashamed.
my brother, who was four years younger had the same kind of , experience. we didn't even talk about it with each other until after we had graduated high school. >> one more question in the middle here. >> did your father feel happy when he got out of prison? karen well, yes. : i mean, he -- well, i would say what happened was he was arrested and he had a bail hearing in san francisco and even though he received bail, so, in other words, somebody paid the money so that he could be, you know, kind of free until his case was heard before the court again, the military police were standing outside the courtroom and because the executive orders and the exclusion orders had been issued where no one on the west coast of japanese ancestry could stay, he was taken over to the
detention assembly center which was like a prison. it was basically just horse stalls. so they just whitewashed the horse stalls and put people in there and they were treated worse than, you know -- they were treated inhumane and worse than animals. and then he was sent over to one of the 10 concentration camps in topaz, utah. it wasn't until after the end of the war that he was able to be free. >> thank you. karen koramatsu, everyone. [applause] >> the next case that we'll be looking at is a case you might be a little more familiar with, brown v board of education. our next panelist is cheryl brown henderson. cheryl is one of three daughters
daughters. the case joined with cases from delaware, south carolina, washington and d.c. on appeal to the u.s. supreme court and on may 17, 1954, became known as the landmark decision of brown v. board of topeka, kansas. brown died before knowing the impact of his case. cheryl is the founding president of the brown foundation and owner of brown and associates educational consulting firm. she has extensive education in education and business. she has two decades of experience in political advocacy, public policy, and federal legislative development. in 1990, under her leadership, the foundation successfully worked with the united states congress to design the brown v education national park.
it opened in may 2004. please welcome cheryl brown henderson. [applause] cheryl: thank you. first of all, i want to thank the constitution center and thank all of you for your interest in being here and our fellow panelists, mr. tinker. basically supreme court decisions are very important. i can't overstate the importance because they affect your lives everyday. brown versus the board of education in particular. how many of you are familiar with the 14th amendment of the constitution? some of you are familiar. i would suggest you become familiar because what supreme , court cases do is they interpret for us the meaning of certain part -- of the constitution, for example. before brown versus department of education we were living , under a system of state's rights. i don't know if you know what that means. it means the supreme court has not definitively interpreted for
the country the 14th amendment to the constitution. states were deciding here and there what you could and couldn't do. everybody with blue shirts couldn't ride the bus to school, they had to walk. everybody with brown hair had to go to a school with kids only with brown hair. just all over the place. and especially for african-american people, a lot of you watch the news today and you see the protests against how african-american males in particular are treated. well, brown versus the board of education and a lot of the early activities, activism, was all about similar issues. see, it took over 100 years, a century, for brown versus board of education to take place. first time parents, people like your parents took to court the issue of why couldn't my kids go to any school? i'm paying taxes on every school
, but you're assigning my child a school based solely on the color of their skin. 1849 in boston, massachusetts, the first documented case. so 105 years later, 1954, brown versus the board of education we experienced a legal victory. not a social victory, but a legal victory. i'll explain what i mean by that in just a minute. now kansas is my home state, and i imagine many of you have never been to kansas. anybody ever been to kansas? oh. did you stop? [laughter] not a place people go onze it's vacation, but kansas has been a very important state to the civil rights history of this country. even before brown v board of education in 1954, in my state of kansas, there were 11 school desegregation cases like no other state in the nation. african-american american
parents in kansas were suing for the right for their children to attend any school. they were not waiting to be assigned to a school based solely on the color of their skin. now what i mean by a legal victory, first of all, brown was a collective action. it wasn't a single individual. a lot of the textbooks, a lot of the websites are absolutely wrong in how they talk about brown v board. now my father didn't wake up one day and decide, i have had enough. i am going to sue the school board. it didn't happen that way. brown v. board was a collective action. they led by the naacp, the national association for the advancement of colored people, and their legal defense fund. they recruited people to be plaintiffs in these cases. as you heard in the intro, the locations in brown from delaware, kansas, virginia, south carolina, and washington, d.c.
one of the cases was organized by teenagers led by 16-year-old girl on her own who called for a strike at her segregated school for the right to have better facilities. the rest were parent-given cases. so my father got involved day, just this simply, history knocked on our door in the form of a childhood friend who was now an attorney. they went to grade school together. they went to junior high together. they went to high school together. charles went off to world war ii and came back and became an attorney. one sunday afternoon, he knocked on our door and asked my father if he would be willing to join this case they were organizing to sue the school board so the children would no longer have to be assigned based on race the public school. now my dad's first question was, and the girls in the room will appreciate this, because by the time they came to our home,
everybody that had signed up, every parent was a mom. a married lady, but a mom. rather than take the risk of losing your job, because back then if you stood up for your rights, the larger community, the white community in particular could fire you, cut off your credit, end your mortgage. you know, all sorts of things would happen if you took that kind of public stand. so oftentimes it would be the moms who were homemakers who didn't have that risk. so my dad's obvious question was, will there be more men? because at that point he was the only one. long story short, they assured him they were going to continue asking people. by the fall of 1950, he ended up being the only man. and we think that's why the case ended up being named for him. it was not something my father did on his own. it was a collective action. he was asked to participate. because when you look at the roster of litigants in the
kansas case, they were 12 women and one man, my father, oliver brown. alphabetically, my father was not first. that was another one of those myths, but he was in fact the only man and at that time what we called gender politics, when men were the head of things. so we believe that he was -- his name was placed at the top of the list because he was number 10 to sign on. this is the situation. you see, one of the things we do as a nation, we have these amazing documents. we have the declaration of independence. we have the bill of rights. we have the constitution. and they say wonderful things, but it takes an awful lot of work to make those words have meaning. so what you see, for example, now in the protests against the police killings and the cavalier murders of unarmed african-american men, the
activism you see is necessary so brown v board of education on may 17th, 1954, 12:52 p.m., earl warren who had been the governor of california, we have that connection. role -- earl warren announced to the country that brown unanimously had been decided. he surprised everybody that he would do what happened in california and turn around as a supreme court justice and work really hard to make sure every single justice voted yes in brown v board of education. he did that. but you see, when brown was decided and that was announced, a lot of people in the country, particularly in certain parts of the country in the south, they didn't want african-americans to have the same rights as white americans. they were very unhappy about that. that's why it took a civil rights movement. that's why it took legislation before this really became real.
the words on the paper are meaningless unless they are enforced or unless there's some sort of action that makes them real. so brown v board did this for everybody in the room whether you're white, hispanic, latino, native, asian, disabled, doesn't matter. what brown did for all of you is it defined that the people of this country cannot have their sovereign rights arbitrarily restricted by state and local government. brown did that for all of you. so it wasn't simply a matter of challenging the notion of segregated schools. it went much beyond that when you consider how our country was vacating -- ignoring, if you will, the constitution when it came to people of -- when it came to women. some of you may be aware of the women's rights movement.
so brown v board, i believe, is considered as one of the most important cases in the country because it was a beginning point. brown made it possible for the march from selma to montgomery. one of the attorneys in brown, jack greenberg, argued the right for them to march lawfully across that bridge after the first march when john lewis was battered. so it takes more than simply legal pronouncements. so what i would encourage you to think about in your own lives, what is it you believe strongly about? what's going on in your school? what's going on in your church? what's going on in your community that you can take a stand for, you can organize for? because every single generation has a responsibility to pick up where we left off. i am proud of the fact that brown v board bears my father's name. there were hundreds of people along with him that were part of
this, but i also know the work is not done. if i can turn on my television in the last three years and see what i have been seeing, it's now your turn. you're here now. we didn't create the challenges that we're confronted with oftentimes, but it's up to us to decide if they stop with us and what role we're going to play. so i believe brown is a case of activism, it's a case that was a catalyst for so much that came after, but it's also a point of pride for me, much like miss karamatsu. i take that responsibility of maintaining the legacy very seriously. [applause] >> i think we have time for one question. a hand right here in the fourth row.
>> was your dad arrested when he joined the group? cheryl: no. that's a very good question. people always want to know what the repercussions were of brown v board. how many of you have heard of the little rock 9? okay. so you know there were some pretty unseemly things that happened when people tried to implement the court's decision in brown versus the board of education. so people want to know what happened to the parents that signed on the petition. in the topeka case, there were no repercussions. african-americans and whites and all groups lived together. our neighborhoods were integrated, but you could play together all summer, play together all weekend, but on monday morning when it was time to go to school, you had to go to the school that you were assigned to and the white children in the neighborhood went to the school they were assigned to. so we were already living,
worshipping, working together. so it made it easier, i think. so in may when the court said legally you can no longer segregate on the basis of race, in the fall the schools in topeka integrated immediately. however, in other parts of the country, like little rock, it was a battle. it was another civil war in many ways. one of the cases in brown, in virginia, prince edward county, public schools there closed public schools for five years. they didn't allow them to integrate, rather than to comply. now let me give you the example. if you are eight years old and you're in third grade, five years later school reopens, you're now 13, do you go back to third grade? no. so unless you had a way to get out of the county, unless you had access to some educators that came down from the north to set up little church-based
schools, unless you could go live with a family. a lot of students went to live with quaker families in different parts of the country, philadelphia or elsewhere. you didn't have any education whether you were black or white because people were so committed to a certain way of life that they would rather do without than allow you to have the opportunity to be educated. i think what we're seeing now is a push back to brown v board of education, 60 plus years later. >> thank you, cheryl brown henderson. [applause] >> this brings us last but certainly not least to john tinker. he was born in 1950 and raised by parents who believed in socially responsible activism. in 1965, he participated in a public display of protest of the vietnam war.
in 1969, he was a freshman at the university of iowa that he and his sister had won their precedent setting u.s. supreme court case upholding the first amendment rights of public school students. since that time, 48 years ago john has led an interesting , life. john has been a deck hand on a shrimp boat, driven a city bus, chief engineer in two radio stations, organized a relief he traveled in central america and organized a relief progress in nicaragua. for the past four years, john has been the chief engineer at kpip community radio station in fayette, missouri, where he lives with his wife and two children in a decommissioned public school building. he is in the initial stages of creating an educational foundation devoted to supporting the first amendment rights of students and teachers. please welcome john tinker.
[applause] john: thank you, mike. thank you to the constitution center for bringing us all together. it's a real honor to be together with these two wonderful women who are doing very important work and i really appreciate it. i'm happy to meet you both. i just wanted to start maybe and look at this wonderful audience. i really appreciate what you're interested, that all of you students are interested and the parents are interested in constitutional rights, and that's what we're here for. i wanted to give you a little background to where our case came from. i was born in 1950, and you just heard that those were tough times for black people. in atlantic, iowa, which was a small town where my father was a
methodist minister, there was one black family. they were not allowed to swim in the public swimming pool. father, as the minister took , this issue to the city council and said, this has to be corrected. instead, they said you're being divisive in the community to bring that up, so they asked him to leave. he lost his pulpit in iowa, and we moved to des moines. my mother was -- grew up in south texas and had witnessed a lot of racism. she was very concerned that we , as children, have black friends, and she worked on that. and we did have black friends. and so we took our friends to church with us. well, the same sort of thing happened in des moines, iowa, and my father was asked to leave in 1962.ey department want ths
for thether work foed quakers then, and as you may know they were very instrumental in the civi civil rights movement, anti-slavery movement way back then. the quakers just loved the fact that our father was interested in those issues. and so he became the peace education secretary for the american friends service committee, which is a quaker organization. and as peace education secretary, his job was to organize lectures and symposia so that people could discuss the important issues of today. now the important issues in the mid-1960's, most important issues were the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement. saw him and my brothers and sisters, there were six of us altogether, we were
involved in civil rights demonstrations, antiwar demonstrations and so on. inwas a very rich childhood a lot of ways. not monetarily, but in experiences. so in 1965, the war had really started -- the war in vietnam had really started to heat up. there was a bombing campaign called "rolling thunder" where they flew the big bombers, the big b-52 bombers and bombed in north vietnam. a lot of people that i was associated with thought that was a horrible thing, and they decided to have a protest in , d c.gton i asked my parents if i could go to that protest, with the two charter buses that went from iowa. i was given permission to go on that bus trip and be part of a
big national demonstration. on the bus ride back, the people on the bus discussed what they might do to continue to protest the war, and it was decided that we would wear armbands, black armbands. mourning,a symbol of of mourning when someone dies. if one of your family members had died or something like that, you might put a black armband on your arm, to let your friends and neighbors know that this sad event had happened in your life. we decided to wear black armbands. was a group ofit high school students that i was closely associated with. it was actually a unitarian youth group. even though i was not a unitarian exactly, i was a quaker by then.
i also attended unitarian church and a lot of my friends were part of that group. we all decided to wear black armbands. one of our members -- you wrote an article for the school newspaper in des moines, the school that he attended, and he wrote about what we were doing and why we were doing it. why, he listed two things. "to mourn the deaths on the both conflict, and to encourage the idea that senator robert kennedy had proposed, that there be a christmas truce. we thought that was really important, because we thought of people could stop fighting at some point, maybe they would continue to not fight. those were the two reasons we decided to wear these armbands, but when that article for the , the facultyaper
advisor for the journalism class saw that article, he took it to the principal of the school, and the principle of the school got on the telephone to the principles of the other schools in des moines, and said do you know this is going to happen? we better have a meeting. they had a meeting and decided not to permit the wearing of the armbands. we went ahead and wore them anyway, and got kicked out of school. after we were kicked out of school, we did not know what to do about it, so we called a lawyer, a local lawyer who was involved with the iowa civil liberties union, and he said you know, i think you have a federal case here. i think he violated your constitutional rights. but you should really go back to school so there is not truancy involved also. so we did that. we went back to school and we sued them in the federal court
of des moines, and we testified, and told our stories, and we lost. it was pretty disappointing. to thedecided to appeal circuit court, the eight circuit court in st. louis -- eight circuitcourt -- 8th court in st. louis. and they had a strange situation -- they were short one judge, so there were only eight judges. those eight judges split 4-4. was a tie. we asked the supreme court to hear our case, and they agreed to hear our case. us supreme court agreed with , 7-2. it was a pretty significant victory at the supreme court. i think over the years, the case, tinker v des moines, has become the second case to brown versus board of education of importance to public school students.
i will read the exact quote and get it out of here. "it can hardly be argued that either students or stitchers -- teachers shed their constitutional rights to either speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. our case, tinker versus des moines, was the case which gave all of you public school students your constitutional right to freedom of expression. the public schools are what we "all a "special environment, so your rights to free speech are not the same in school as they would be out of school because the educational environmo be there or no one would learn anything. but the role they came up with -- it is called the tinker standard. it is an order for the school youorities to tell you
cannot express yourself, they have to have the material and substantial reasons to believe that it will disrupt the educational environment. as you have heard, the law is just the law. the way things turn out are not necessarily the way that the law says. they do not necessarily follow the rules and decisions that the courts have made. that is true today as well. i hear all the time about students who have to really stand up for their right, and they have to inform, perhaps, their teachers or principal about what their rights are. there was a case in dearborn, michigan, where a student wore a t-shirt. it was actually back in the -- it was ten years ago. it had a picture of the president on it.
it said, "war criminal" on it. now that's controversial. he wore it for half of the day and nothing happened at all. the teacher brought him in and said, you have to take that shirt off or go home. he said, tinker v des moines. i have a right to do this. she said, no. no. look at this. she read to him from black's dissenting opinion in our case and presented that to him as though that were the original law. so i am just saying this, because a lot of times or sometimes, i should say, school authorities aren't really sure of what the law is themselves. now a lot of them are, and i work frequently with a professor who teaches school law and i have appeared in his classes many, many times and so there are many teachers and administrators who do know what the law is, and will be supportive of you if you let them know what is going on.
i just want to encourage torybody to pay attention what is going on, to think for yourself about it. what do you really think about what is going on? if you have an opinion that onflicts with the way things should be that you think you are trying to follow, i incurred you to raise your voice and let people know what is going on. anyway, i want to thank you again for being here. i think it is great. if you have some questions, i would love to try and answer them. [applause] >> we have a question in the back? >> hi. did you find it difficult attending the school that you were also suing? did you have any experiences within school? i'm not hearing you.
>> she said, did you have any problem going to the school -- >> afterward? >> when you were being -- you know, bringing the case. no. >> no. did i have problems at the school because the case is going on, is that right? not really. when i went back to school after we had been kicked out, i wore all black clothing for the rest of the year. [laughter] >> everybody knew what it meant. but instead of trouble, i actually had several teachers that asked me to talk to their and theabout protests war in vietnam and so on. so it was not a horrible experience at all. . when i was being kicked out, i talked to the principal. it was a long conversation. it was maybe 45 minutes.
and it was respectful. he had been a korean war veteran, and he was concerned that perhaps i had been listening to the wrong people, maybe i did not understand how important it is for the citizens in apport their government time of war and so on. i explained to him my reasons, and he listened to me. end, he said to me you know, if you go back to class -- take off the armband, go back to class, there will not be any file opened on you. it will be just like it did not happen. and then he looked at me and said that i don't think you are going to do that, are you? years later, thinking about that, i thought what a wonderful thing for him to have said. he was basically indicating to me that he understood i was acting out of my conscience.
and that is a wonderful way for a principals, teachers, and other adults to treat kids. >> john tinker, everybody. >> thank you. [laughter] and i think we have time -- for oneink we have time or two more questions. if you have a question for carol, cheryl, -- karen, cheryl, or john, please raise your hand. >> thank you. i have a general question. i do not know if they still studentsmy question is view you as good role models and examples for civic engagement and personal tory democracy. class?ill teach civics like where was george when he did this? to me, this is a participatory
government. you do not have to vote if you do not want to. but if you want to participate in government or even run for office, this would be a good way of showing that is important to see what people think. i understand this could be a can of worms like imprisoning people where they are born because you are concerned about muslim extremists or something like that? slander stand it could be a can of worms were you cannot answer s or true orestion false on exam. but are you pushing for the students to have that option or just teaching the test? this is important to know about, what are your rights and what should your rights be? this would be a good thing to have not just in government, but also in schools. karen or cheryl, if you would like to address, because you both work in this field. >> especially for teacher out there -- teachers out there,
thank you for bringing your students here. this is really important. civic education, we all believe in civic education. that is why we are here. --you go to the institute our website, we have curriculum kits we send teachers for free. i do not care if you are elementary, middle school, high school, i don't -- i don't care if you're in -- teach p.e. or chemistry. you know, it's all about social justice. and civics education is at that root. so that's what we do for fundraising so that teachers have these extra tools, because you're right. they don't have these materials. don't have these materials and we want to be sure that we get these materials in teachers' hands and want to really support education across this country. we've impacted all 50 states, over a million teachers and a
million and a half students and even 12 countries because they looked at the japanese-american incarceration as human rights violations. that is also important. >> what karen said is true as well. the brown foundation, brown.org, board.org, if you go there there are lesson plans and activities. we do a website called the brown quarterly and what we do is have the stories of the under-represented groups in our textbook. women's study, american history, asian-american history and hispanic heritage and all of that in those newsletters. the thing is -- i am glad you mentioned teachers. one of the things that happened after brown v board, my father was interviewed and he was worried about the educators and teachers, and he wanted to know what happened to the black teachers and schools.
the school district in our community decided they would integrate everybody. so what the school board decided they would do then, if you had a black teacher in your school, african-american, for the first time, you had to call every parent of a white child with that grade level to find out if it was okay to be in that teacher's classroom. what they discovered was it was not necessary because nobody said no and they were pretty much everybody working and living around each other. so they had that in place for one year, but not everybody was affected is my point. the thing we have to understand is that education, and this is one thing that came out of brown that i believe i'm the most proud of. the court said no child can reasonably be expected to succeed without an education. so when you walk into that classroom, regardless what you do, at some point you need to wise up. because what happens in that classroom is the most important thing you will ever do in your
life. believe me. so i hear kids talking about how i do not like the teacher, so i will not do the work -- how smart is that? the teacher has her or his education, they are trying to help you get to that point and beyond. if you take teachers out of the mix, for example, what would we have? .otal chaos and total stupidity teachers, in my view, are the most important people in this country. everything we know comes through them. you do not come here knowing how to read. you do not come here knowing how to write. you do not come here knowing how to speak a certain way. you do not come here knowing how to do math. every doctor had a teacher. in this room right now, the vocational educator is another one of my soapboxes. there is no phd with a carpet on his floor.
this room.d somebody with a trade -- there is respect for all kinds of education, but we need to have the utmost respect for our teachers. we are so topsy-turvy on our value system. i used to teach school back in the day, and i told everybody the minute teachers start getting the kind of pay they deserve, like lebron james money, i am coming back. [applause] >> amen. >> i just wanted to say, our case with a first amendment case. stick up for discussion and dialogue and communication. is that our ability to communicate with each other is truly the foundation of the democracy. how can we not have a democracy if we are not allowed to say what we think? on -- i'mworking working right now on creating a
foundation, and besides educating students, teachers, and administrators about their rights to communicate, i would like to be involved in providing forums where people can actually do the communicating across the boundaries. i am imagining setting up situations where people with different opinions, into the civiloom and agreed to be and discuss their issues with each other. that is going to be the basis of what i hope calms from our effort. -- comes from our effort. thank you very much. [laughter] -- [applause] >> i wanted to say one more thing. i want everybody to understand you do not have to like everybody. not every black person likes every black person. not every white person likes every white person. the problem is you do not have a right to act on it. you do not have to like me, you
do not have to live down the street from me, but you have no right to decide and to violate my right as an individual citizen. so do not get us wrong. by, everybodycoup has to love everybody -- it is not going to happen. there is a human tendency to prejudge and to discriminate, but you do not have the right to act on it. absolutely not. that weld like to add need to learn to respect our differences, and to appreciate them. about eachderstand other, then you are going to have a better sense of yourself. about your own stories, the struggles of your families and where they came from. and of us were immigrants have that history. unless you are indigenous and native american. your ownunderstand story, you can appreciate other people's, but what my father
said along this line is to stand up for what is right. protests, but not with violence. otherwise, they will not listen to you. but do not be afraid to speak up >> i think that is a good place to end it. days join me in thanking our panelists -- please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >> thank you very much. please enjoy the rest of your day at the national constitution center or wherever you are headed neck. >> thank you so much. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, today at six ago p.m. eastern on the civil war, the author of "for their own cause" on southern row
after black troops were assigned to guard confederate prisoners. >> one might assume that was why they chose these black troops. in the mid-19th century, most people to believe that black men were not talented enough to fight, that they were not brave enough to fight. >> at 8:00 on lectures in history, professor ashley reilly sues on native americans and trade in 19 american -- 19th-century california. >> they are dressed like a margareta van, very, very nicely. to that kind of shows you the value that missionaries placed on the work that these cowboys did, that they were allowed first of all to ride horses, which was generally from into indians in the california missions at them, and they are also dressed pretty nice. >> and at 7:00 p.m. on sunday, history, we continue our series on photojournalist with david valdes.
>> if i say something about his hair, and i take this photo and his hair looks nice, nobody will ever believe that this was not set up. and woundk the photo, up running to whole pages in life magazine, and then over the next 20 years or so, it was in the best of live, classic moments of life, and 2011 it was a in the issue under the best photos in life magazine for the past 75 years. >> american history tv: all weekend, every weekend, only on -- c-span3. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's
cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. "everything was devastating for him at the end. he was really in some ways isolated and alone. >> sunday night on "q&a, author and professor emeritus at amherst college william talbot, "gorbachev.", trusted them to follow him work they had never gone before, they trusted them to follow him as he moved the country toward a market economy, from a command economy. he trusted him, he trusted them to follow him, and trust him as he made peace in the cold war against the ancient enemy, united states. so he trusted them too much, it turned out. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a."
next, philanthropist david rubenstein discusses what he thinks americans should know about the 1787 constitutional convention. he is later joined for a conversation with national constitution center president jeffrey rosen. this event from philadelphia is just under one hour. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the national constitution center, and happy constitution day. [applause] >> it is so exciting to welcome you here on the 230th birthday of the u.s. constitution, and we've had such an exciting morning. we've heard from ken burns and lynn novak, interviewed by david rubenstein about their new vietnam documentary. we heard from the plaintiffs in the brown versus board of education korematsu and tinker